From this honorable stage, I wish the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood movement success in bringing the dilapidated Egyptian cart out from the mire of problems in which it has sunk to the shaft of its wheels, despite the fact that its four horses – the Islamists, the liberals, the military and the remnants of the Mubarak regime – are all pulling it in different directions. Fate has placed Egypt, with its tens of millions of citizens living under the poverty line, in the hands of people who have proven during decades of beneficial social activity that their intentions towards their people are good. The world waits to see if indeed “Islam is the solution” and what kind of future the Brotherhood will provide to their brothers, the sons of Egypt: Will they look for an external enemy such as Israel in order to distract the attention of the unemployed and neglected and blame it for the problems, or will they perhaps actually cope with Egypt’s problems and utilize the peace agreement with Israel as a lever with which to develop Egypt, and to bring hope to its citizens?
Islamic tradition (according to the books of Sahih Muslim and Al-Bukhari) say that Mohammad, the prophet of Islam, told his community: “Each one of you is a shepherd, and each shepherd is responsible for his flock.” The question that confronts the Muslim Brotherhood today is whether and how much they will act in accordance to this guidance of their prophet.
Who are you, Muhammad Morsi?
Muhammad Morsi was born in 1951 in the village of al-Adwa to a hard-working rural family, the first of six children. He served as a soldier in the chemical warfare unit in the second Army in the years 1975-6. He is married to Naglah Mahmoud, and they have a daughter, four sons, and three grandsons. He excelled in his studies from a young age and earned a Master’s degree in engineering from the University of Cairo and a doctorate in California, where he also taught. (Another proof that western studies do not turn a Muslim to an adherent of Western culture.) Morsi joined the Muslim Brotherhood movement in 1979, and served as a member of its “board of instruction” and endured persecution and harassment by the Mubarak regime. Like many other leaders of the movement, he was tried and imprisoned a number of times, but nevertheless was a member of a small coalition, which led the movement. Between 2000 and 2005 he was the head of a group of independent members of parliament comprised of Brotherhood members, despite the prohibition of their organization into one undivided party. In 2006 he was imprisoned and when he was subsequently freed, he was put under house arrest. In January 2011, immediately after the demonstrations broke out, he was sent again to prison, and when the prisons were broken into, and thousands of prisoners and detainees fled, he refused to leave solitary confinement and demanded from the Mubarak regime explanations for his imprisonment. In 2011 he became head of the Party of Freedom and Justice, the winner of the parliamentary elections. Before the elections for the presidency he resigned his position in parliament, and after he won 51.7% (compared to 48.3% for Shafiq) he left the Muslim Brotherhood in order to be the “president of everyone.”
About the Author: Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan U.) Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. A lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan U., he is also an expert on Israeli Arabs.
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